1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Mark Stielow's Latest Camaro Is The First Recipient Of An LS9 Engine Swap-And This One Makes More Than 700 HP
From the September, 2009 issue of Hot Rod Magazine
By Mike Yoksich
Photography by Mike Yoksich
You are looking at the first hot rod powered by the LS9 V-8 crate engine sold by GM Performance Parts, the same supercharged, 6.2L mill used in the latest ZR1 Corvette. But while the engine choice is really cool, don't be fooled; this '69 Camaro is about way more than just an engine. It came together under the guidance of well-known Pro Touring car builder Mark Stielow. Unlike the other 35 or so cars Mark has built, this one started in the mind of his friend Charley Lillard. As a direct descendent of the killer '69 Camaro that Mark unveiled back in 2003, which was called the Mule, Charley decided to simply call this ride Jackass.
The name is somewhat misleading. The Mule represented a huge step forward in the build and performance of a Pro Touring-style muscle car. It featured massive rubber, production-looking mini-tubbed rear wheelwells over a streetable four-link rear suspension, a 1,000hp twin turbo V-8, a late-model front suspension, 275/35R18 front tires, 335/30R18 rear tires, and was detailed in 22 consecutive months of magazine buildup stories. The Mule was chassis-dyno-tested in 0-to-200-mph runs, run in track events at facilities such as Laguna Seca, and driven cross-country on four HOT ROD Power Tours(r).
The 6.2L supercharged LS9...
The 6.2L supercharged LS9 V-8 usually powers the insane ZR1 Corvette, but this LS9 is powering the first hot rod application on the road-a '69 Camaro named Jackass. And it made 700-plus horsepower out of the box.
Jackass takes all the lessons of the Mule and builds on them with a host of refinements and innovations. The stock LS9 V-8 engine is an obvious innovation, but don't forget to take in the carbon-ceramic Brembo ZR1 Corvette disc brakes, C6 Corvette front suspension on the Art Morrison front subframe, front spoiler relocator kit, trick Rick's stainless gas tank, and coolers for the transmission and rearend.
Is Jackass better than the Mule? Mark says, "We gave the Mule that name because it was a testbed for a lot of the ideas I had rumbling around in my head for years. That car was intended to really make a statement, which it did, but it is also more aggressive than most of the cars I have built. My pal Charley Lillard, who owns the Mule now, felt I could do a car with the same capabilities but with production car manners. Jackass is truly that car-insane power and speed capabilities, but the thing idles like a rumbly taxi cab sitting in traffic with the A/C blowing cold."
So is Jackass the best Pro Touring car Mark has built yet? That is tough to say because it won't get the snotty-cammed, high-compression fanboys fired up, as it quietly idles around town. We guess that won't matter to the true Pro Touring enthusiasts who will once again be awed by Mark's ability to reinvent and refine what performance terror looks like wrapped in the envelope of a '69 Camaro. And for that reason, many will consider Jackass his best yet.
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